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Netflix Tells a ‘Death (Note)’ Defying Story

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I came across Death Note while browsing through my Netflix channel, and it is by far one of the most interesting yet twisted movies I’ve ever seen. Though I have yet to see the anime series, the movie, according to critics, exceeded expectations; every twist and turn scripted by Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, and Jeremy Slater had fulfilled its duty in accurately portraying the well-known Japanese manga. As for me, I was just there to see Nat Wolff act.

The movie starts off with the scene from the trailer where Light Turner finds a journal at school. He is told by the death god, Ryuk, that any name he writes, as long as he is able to visualize the face and write down a possible death, will die within 24 hours. Light decides, with his fellow female classmate, to work under the guise of a god they called Kira, who ultimately kills to rid the world of criminals. However, as one would expect while playing with death, things began to get more complicated than Light anticipates.

That’s the basic gist of the movie. I won’t go into details so that you can see for yourself whether the one hour and 40 minutes of screen time is worth your time, but I will say that it’s definitely not your typical thriller movie. While watching the film, I could see what direction the producers were heading for: a film that was just gruesome and dark enough to keep its audience on their toes. Gore has never been (and probably will never be) my thing, yet Death Note provided scenes where I was almost curious to see how the producers would film the death or which CGI they would use next. The different filming angles, the background music, and the careful attention to details were what made even the most disturbing scenes bearable.

But there were some downsides. One particular thing that nagged me was the film’s overall pace; it felt unevenly distributed. The film spent a long time at one particular scene, only to abruptly move onto another with almost no context about its whereabouts. It may just be a personal thing, for I am more biased towards movies that are chronological and easy to follow, but who knows? Maybe it’s a factor that also nags you too. The bigger problem, however, is the ending. I absolutely cannot tolerate cliffhangers, and Death Note has one of the most unsatisfying endings I’ve ever seen. It’s almost as upsetting as reaching the final episode of 13 Reasons Why (though it’s been confirmed that a second season for that show is coming out). The ending of Death Note left me with so many questions and emotions that you could say I was pretty indignant, but hey, that’s just the way Hollywood movies run nowadays.

1 Comment

One Response to “Netflix Tells a ‘Death (Note)’ Defying Story”

  1. Emily Gao on September 10th, 2017 4:04 pm

    How did you feel about the whitewashing of the film? Many people, myself included, felt like the movie’s casting fell short of expectations. Do you think the movie could have been more enjoyable if the cast and plot hadn’t been Americanized, or do you think that the choices of the directors and writers positively affected the movie?

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